Portable dvd player vs notebook computer

I do not have cable/satellite/network television (my choice), but I like to watch dvds. However, I wish I could watch dvds in places other than my living room, which, this time of year is very hot. A portable system of some sort could be used on my porch, deck, in my bedroom, etc.

I have considered buying a portable dvd player. But for a little more than the price of a new portable, I can get a used laptop computer which I could also take when I travel and have online access.

Any thoughts/suggestions/etc?


When I’m on an airplane, and all I want to do is watch a movie, I often wish my laptop was a portable DVD player. My 15.4" notebook just doesn’t fit well in the corner between the tray table and the seatback in front of me. Unless, of course, I fold it to an acute angle, but then it’s not very useable.

For over all functionality, the laptop is hard to beat…I’m just saying you may feel it’s not so travel-friendly when all you want are its entertainment features. Anything besides a coach airline seat, and it’s not so bad.

Any laptop will have a much larger screen than a typical DVD player. In addition, you can view movies, etc., saved as files and not just on DVDs. On the other hand, typically it will take longer between when you switch on the device and when you start viewing on a laptop.

You can rip DVDs to a laptop’s hard drive and then not worry about forgetting a certain movie you wanted to watch, nor about carrying the physical media around. (I would think watching a movie from the HD would be more efficient, battery-wise, than spinning a DVD.)

As for the size, I had a 12" iBook that I’d imagine would be perfectly usable as a travel computer and as a DVD player. And it was fairly small.

Definitely laptop. They seem to have larger screens than portable DVD players too.

If you can listen to the audio on the laptop before you buy, do so. Some laptops have decent sound, most do not.

Thanks guys! I was leaning toward the laptop, and your input is appreciated! Off to craigslist.:wink:

I have both and never use the lap top to view movies. That being said, if you just plan to use it at home and schlep it around room to room, for the same price, Id buy a laptop. I got my dvd player for less than a hundred bucks though and take it on trips when I won’t need a computer as it is lighter and easier.

How is the battery life on the portable DVD players vs laptops?

Older or used laptops might not have the battery life to play a long movie - one of our laptops has a battery that’s only good for an hour and a half, down from its original capacity of close to five hours.

gotpasswords-I’ve considered that as well, however everywhere I am likely to watch movies has electrical access.

Aside: I just replaced my cellphone battery. I have no land line, so it gets heavy use. When I replaced it, I was going from a fully charged state to a low battery warning during a 5 minute phone call.